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Sewing Thread

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Sara Johnson, Hanley Wood Media

Project Name

Sewing Thread

Project Status

Student Work

Year Completed



  • Asuka Fujita



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This student project was completed in Good Grids, a studio course at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York's School of Architecture and Planning which won a 2016 ARCHITECT Studio Prize.

Project Description


Sewing Thread pulls back the grid to reveal a picturesque landscape, conceptualizing a soft grid that is pliable and transformable.

The park offers a peaceful urban oasis—a vast public amenity for not only the residents in this quarter section, but for those in the surrounding neighborhoods. The large area of green also acts as a buffer to reduce noise from the busy streets at the block's edges, invoking a pleasant calmness from Frederick Law Olmsted—an important figure in the history of American development and Chicago inparticular—the park offers a variety of different experiences. The Southern end has denser vegetation, creating a forest-like setting to increase privacy and improved biodiversity, affording opportunities to observe wildlife and experience nature. The northern part is an open meadow which leaves itself open to activities while inviting an openness to the surrounding town. In contrast to the open meadows and groves of trees, the lake forms gathering space for recreation and activity for the city.

To further express the dynamic condition of the grid, the build-heights of each block gradually increase from the southwest to the northeast, creating visual hierarchy and a welcoming entrance at the corner. Each block is composed of a nine-square grid with a shared green at its center, reiterating the surrounding green, but as a semi-public/semi-private space. At the very center of the scheme, an entire block is removed to give the quarter section an intensely urban core—accentuated by contrast to the surrounding green.
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